VHF’s Evening Lectures series offers illustrated lectures that look at the history of Vancouver, covering the events, movements and people that have shaped our city. Since the first event in 2012, the series has included a diverse range of subjects and perspectives in over 50 lectures from more than 30 presenters. A listing of many of them can be found below.

VHF’s Evening Lecture series will continue in virtual format this spring. Join us from the comfort of home to enjoy fascinating pieces of Vancouver’s history with a selection of speakers.

You can earn 1 Old School credit per Evening Lecture or Lunch and Learn, to a maximum of 3 towards VHF’s Heritage Conservation Certificate. 

Race, Regulation and Resistance: Understanding Vancouver’s South Asian community history

Tuesday, April 6th, 7pm - 8:30pm
$16/$10 (incl. tax)

Using historical images, government documents, and print media, Naveen Girn, Paneet Singh and Milan Singh will share stories of the South Asian community’s activism and resilience, delving into the history of the community and connections to local places. They will also detail the formation of the Continuous Journey regulation and its insidious effects, including its impact on ships like the Panama Maru and Komagata Maru.

1866 West 2nd Avenue in Kitsilano marks the historic site of the first Gurdwara in North America. Established by the Khalsa Diwan Society in 1908, the Gurdwara was the centre of spiritual, political, social, and cultural activity for the small, but growing Sikh and South Asian community in Vancouver for 60 years. From this location, members of the community started printing presses to circulate information about the fight for India’s independence against British colonial rule, discuss topics such as the admission of South Asian women to Canada and advocate for their rights by challenging discriminatory policies in Canada such as the Continuous Journey regulation – a racist immigration restriction carefully designed to keep people from India out.

About the Speakers
Naveen, Paneet and Milan are hosts of The Nameless Collective podcast – a podcast dedicated to the history of Sikh and South Asian communities in British Columbia. The podcast has been featured in stories by the CBC, the Walrus, and Vancouver Magazine, and incorporated in university classrooms and K-12 teaching materials.

Intersection, Granville and Georgia, 1912.

Building BC: The Photography of Leonard Frank and Otto Landauer

Tuesday, May 4th, 7pm - 8:30pm
$16/$10 (incl. tax)

Few collections capture the early development history of British Columbia as comprehensively as the photography of Leonard Frank and Otto Landauer. From mining and logging camps to major construction projects, historic events, and the natural beauty of the landscapes, Leonard Frank documented all corners of the province from 1900 until his death in 1944. Otto Landauer, who purchased the studio after Frank’s death, carried on his legacy documenting the post-war growth of Vancouver, including the construction of many landmark buildings and structures, such as the Second Narrows Bridge and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

In this virtual lecture during Jewish Heritage Month, Michael Schwartz, Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC, will explore some of these extraordinary images that captured moments in the history of Vancouver and BC. He will also discuss how Frank and Landauer came to take such remarkable photos and how those images came to be preserved as a collection.

About the Speaker
Michael Schwartz is Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC. He develops innovative exhibits and award-winning public programs celebrating the rich history of Jewish life in BC.

Online Lectures from the VHF Archives

Visit our YouTube page for more heritage and history themed videos including two previously recorded Evening Lectures; A Century of Planning from Bartholomew to City Plan with Michael Kluckner and Japanese Hall 1928-2018: The Extraordinary Story of Community Resilience, Survival and Transformation with Laura Saimoto. Be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell to be notified when we upload a new video.


Past Lectures

  • March 2 – Vancouver’s Stained-Glass Heritage: Artists & Studios, 1889-1940 – Jim Wolf
  • March 3 – A Century of Planning Vancouver: From Bartholomew to City Plan – Michael Kluckner
  • October 27 – Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow – Catherine Clement
  • November 17 – Vancouver After Dark: Stories of the City’s Historical Nightspots – Aaron Chapman
  • December 1 – The Changing Landscape of Vancouver’s Private Gardens, 1890-2020 – Adrienne Brown
  • February 26 – Vancouver’s Hidden Heritage Building: The Resurrection of the Heather Pavilion – Donald Luxton
  • April 9 – Japanese Hall 1928-2018: The Extraordinary Story of Community Resilience, Survival and Transformation – Laura Saimoto
  • April 30 – The Francophone Pioneers of Vancouver: A Little-known History and Legacy – Maurice Guibord
  • October 1 – “Just what is it that makes the modern house so different, so appealing?” – Greg Bellerby
  • October 29 – The History and Legacy of the Vancouver Park Board – John Coupar & Terri Clark
  • November 26 – “Land of Destiny”: A History of Vancouver Real Estate – Jesse Donaldson
  • February 27 – Stanley Park: Digging Deeper and Rethinking Cultural Heritage – Rena Soutar (Cha’an Dtut) & Geordie Howe
  • March 20 – Squat City: An Informal History of Squatters in Vancouver – Daniel Francis
  • April 24 – Themes, Subthemes and Memes: Telling History in a Different Way – Donald Luxton
  • September 18 – Private Property, Public Regulation, and the History of the Arbutus Corridor – Douglas Harris
  • October 9 – Vancouver’s Police Museum: Stories from 240 E Cordova – Rosslyn Shipp & Elizabeth Peterson
  • October 30 – Granville Street: 1886 to Today – Commerce, Entertainment and Historic Buildings – Aaron Chapman & Michael Gordon
  • February 21 – Stanley Park Sites and Stories: Then and Now – Adrienne Brown
  • March 28 – Rum-runners and Border Wars: Prohibition in BC – Daniel Francis
  • April 25 – Ten Myths About Vancouver: The Real Stories – John Atkin
  • September 19 – Shaughnessy’s Backstory – Michael Kluckner
  • October 24 – What a Mess: False Creek, the Industrial Waterway – John Atkin
  • November 7 – Kitsilano Indian Reserve: Contact to Today – Douglas Harris
  • February 16 – Selling Vancouver to Tourists: 1890 – 1960 – Michael Kluckner
  • April 5 – How Streetcars and Real Estate Shaped Vancouver – John Atkin
  • May 29 – The Crescent: From the CPR and the Garden City to Today – Adrienne Brown
  • October 18 – Sawmills and Opera Houses: The Origins of Chinatown – John Atkin
  • November 1 – The Legacy Sites and Stories of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games – Jason Beck
  • November 29 – Who was Major Matthews? – Heather Gordon
  • February 17 – How it all began: The Bloedel Conservatory – John Coupar
  • March 17 – Art Deco Architecture in Vancouver – Maurice Guibord
  • April 21 – The Wild History of Gastown – Donald Luxton
  • June 2 – A History of Vancouver Apartments – Michael Kluckner
  • September 29 – Vancouverism 1954 – 1991 – Michael Gordon
  • October 27 – Artists, Architects and Artisans: Canadian Art 1890 – 1918 – Charles Hill
  • November 10 – BC: Lumberyard of the World – John Atkin
  • January 21 – Vancouver as a Sustainable City – Dr. Tom Hutton
  • March 4 – Challenges & Trends: Public Engagement for Community Planning – Dr. Maged Senbel
  • April 15 – Arts & Crafts Movement of the Pacific Northwest – Larry Kreisman
  • September 30 – Gentrification, Heritage & the Future of Vancouver – Michael  Kluckner
  • October 21 – Samuel Maclure in Shaughnessy – Jim Wolf
  • November 4 – Vancouver’s Vaudeville: the Great White Way – John Atkin & Tom Carter
  • February 19 – How Chinatown became a National Historic Site – John Atkin & Jeanette Hlavach
  • March 19 – History of electric car – John Stonier
  • April 16 – Marriage of architecture and gardens – Christine Allen
  • September 17 – Big Bands in Vancouver – Dal Richards & John Mackie
  • October 15 – 1913’s 100 year building boom – John Atkin
  • November 5 – COV’s Archivist’s picks, new acquisitions & the challenges of archiving digitizing records – Heather Gordon
  • January 17 – History of Exterior Paint Schemes – Donald Luxton
  • February 21 – History of Neon Light in Vancouver – John Atkin
  • March 6 – History of Stained Glass – Jim Wolf
  • September 25 – Vancouver’s early transit system – Henry Ewert
  • October 2 – Architectural History of Vancouver – Donald Luxton
  • October 30 – Catalogue Homes in Vancouver – John Atkin